Great Lakes Christmas Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
88
very good
3,067 Ratings
Great Lakes Christmas AleGreat Lakes Christmas Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
greatlakesbrewing.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 11-16-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
3,067
Reviews:
879
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
13.04%
 
 
Wants:
154
Gots:
778
For Trade:
10
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,067 |  Reviews: 879
Reviews by jtierney89:
Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color with off white head. Smells of molasses, fodder, cardamon touch of honey.

Creamy mouthfeel with honey that soothes. Lots of sweet malt, butter toffee, caramel, unfermented sugars add a sweetness, honey plays off the rest of the malt flavors beautifully creating a soothing SIP. Holiday spice lingers in the background creating a balance along with a mild English hop bitterness. A crescendo of holiday cheer.

 428 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of MNJR
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is still good, but not as good as I remember it. A few years back this was rare and awaited. Now it fills the big box grocery stores, and I fear the quality has suffered a bit. I used to rave about this and really love the flavor, but now I taste some astringent ginger flavors that I don't recall. The spicy nutmeg honey is still there, but this seems just a tad off and sour vs. the smooth richness and warmth of previous releases. I am willing to think I got a weird batch (or I am having a taste malfunction!) and get another six or try on draft. I will revise if my opinion changes. Can it be different than previous years, or is it just my imagination?

 670 characters

Photo of HunterSBeerson
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

This is a great winter seasonal. Pleasantly spicy, and very drinkable.

70 characters

Photo of Jonnystorm777
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this beer is a Christmas delight. I opened the bottle to a surprisingly delightful aroma. The smell of Pine, gingerbread and cinnamon punched me right in the schnozz! Pours tenderly at a 50 degree angle and leaves an enticing bold 1/2 inch head. The rush of this beer ran smooth and crashed into my uvula with endless delight. It has a really full and baritone taste and feels more like a bark cider than an Ale. Santa should be proud to drink this and deliver presents. It really packs a punch.

 500 characters

Photo of Tone
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, caramel malt, earthiness, slight yeast, slight alcohol, and spices. Fits the style of a Winter Warmer. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong caramel malt, sweet malt, slight yeast, earthy malt, grass, and slight alcohol. Overall, mostly spice and earthiness, good blend, but not to my personal taste.

 475 characters

Photo of foglemgs
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This offering from Great Lakes has a fairly high (7.5%) ABV that they try - pretty successfully - to mask with spicy flavors. However, there's a sweetness to this beer that I'm not a fan of, but the overall flavor isn't too bad. There are other, better, Christmas beers out there.

 280 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, burnished copper-brown topped by a large beige head that displays impressive persistance and leaves a small to moderate amount of lace in sheets when it eventually departs.

The nose is sweet and spicy and the flavor is malty sweet, accented nicely by honey and by abundant caramel/toffee notes. There's some spiciness (especially cinnamon), but it's not overdone.

The finish contains a moderate amount of bitterness and a trace of alcohol. The mouthfeel is exemplary; full and rich, very creamy. Mouthfilling with some mouthcoating as well. Drinkability is high.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale is my first beer from the best brewery in my home state of Ohio and my former residence (3 years) of Cleveland. I'm very impressed. I expected a good, solid Christmas beer and those expectations were met and exceeded by a long shot. I only got a single this year, but you can bet that I'll be getting more of this fine seasonal during my future trips home for the holidays. I would have no trouble at all drinking Christmas Ale year-round.

 1,040 characters

Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 1/17/07.Tis not quite the Xmas season but its great to see the Winter Warmer/Holiday brews out and Iam glad to be able to get this locally,poured a lighter clear copper with a thin 1/2 finger white head left pretty quickly leaving no mark of lace behind.Honeyish esters really stand out in the nose along with some light roasted nut and a real leafy hop presence wich was nice with most beers of the style not showing enough hop presence this was a nice thing to see,the cinnamon and honey imparted in this beer show thru nicely upfront melding into a dryer leafy almost earthy like presence finishing with a sharp ginger-like note that lingers.Interesting I must say no way I would think this 7.5% alc a little light but man it goes down easy and it warms the inside a little,I like it its not overly sweet and has a hop presence to it.

 849 characters

Photo of mojohawk21
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Turbo
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Hedlundbr
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tectactoe
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange and amber hybrid color with a ton of red hues and a pretty exceptional amount of clarity all around. Small white head fades quick and doesn't leave much lacing at all.

The nose.... what to say about the nose. Full of a basket of toasted malts and spices - most prominent being cinnamon, but also included are nutmeg and maybe some ginger. There's really so much going on and it's executed with a careful hand; there's really something to be admired in the aroma profile.

The taste hits with an incredibly unique and well-executed balance of sweet and spicy malt - sweetness in the form of caramel, toffee, and butter, and spicy in the form of cinnamon and nutmeg. Very nutty, and with the spices, it resembles a warm pecan pie.

Yeast is noticeable in the background, provides a nice bready and buttery aftertaste (think Christmas sugar cookie). Honey is hard to detect, but is noticeable at the tail end as the beer starts to warm up a little bit. Medium body, not too sticky on the mouth, low to medium carbonation.

This beer tastes like Christmas in a bottle. The fact that it's a holiday release makes it all the more alluring and I feel like a little kid on Christmas when I finally get my hands on some.

 1,230 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ajkiser12
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of sgoodship
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here is the 2009 Christmas Ale. Man, has it been a year already!

The nose is jam packed with sweet honey. Unbelievable. Seems like more than last year to me. Malt and hops fall to the power of honey - no question about this beer's focus.

It's color is an amazing deep honey copper that glows - more handsome than I remember. It has a soft half finger off-white head. Some big spotty lacing. The head remains throughout but drops to a dusting and a ring.

The flavor is strong in honey too. You definitely get some Christmas spice but more noticeable is the uplifting and invigorating infusion of ginger. The finish is dry with a good hop bitterness. The aftertaste is malty and sour with a hint of the honey and caramel sweetness. It's not as sickly sweet as I think last years was a wee bit.

The mouth is on the full side of medium. It feels silky smooth and round in the mouth. The low end of medium carbonation prevents it from being too heavy and syrupy.

Always a favorite of mine at Christmas but beware. These sneak up on you and before you know it... game over. I'm a big fan of Great Lakes and this is a seasonal beer in the true sense. Enjoy!

 1,156 characters

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark translucent brown, almost black. Abundant head of at least 2 fingers or more - bright white foam. Head receded a bit after a few minutes but had great retention. Laced the glass easily all the way down.

Aromas were moderately malty with a sort of "holiday spice" note to it. I couldn't really pin down if it was nutmeg or cinnamon or what, but it smelled pretty good and didn't detract from the beer.

The flavors in this beer worked fantastically together. There was a solid malt backbone that gave a boost to some of the spices, of which seemed to be nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. There was a grassy herbal hop note but it was just enough to hold back the sweetness a bit. Relatively clean at the swallow with just a bit of that spice mix and some malt clinging on for the linger.

This is a pretty smooth brew and they go down really easy. The carbonation is matched well to the rest of the brew and it all just works. The heavier gravity also seemed well matched and was essentially undetectable with the rest of the flavors. very well done and an awesome brew to drink with friends during the holidays. Highly recommended!

 1,188 characters

Photo of blackearth
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber body with a thin white head that quickly fades. Aroma of fruity esters, ginger, brown sugar and toffee. Medium bodied with medium carbonation level, this beer boasts flavors of cinnamon, brown sugar and ginger with a bit of a spicy finish that's not too sweet, but just right. The ginger flavor dials up as the beer warms and seems to take over more than it should. Overall a good Christmas beer.

 415 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lovely clear amber red color with a nice fluffy white head. Small bubbles run up the side of the glass. Quite a interesting nose...citrusy hop tones collide with cinammon and sweet honey. Nice and complex.

First sip is an incredible mix of spiceness, I pick out cinammon, a nice ginger bite along with cirtusy hop notes and a sweet caramel malt background. Almost a subtle cherry / floral taste comes through as well. A very tasty winter brew if I do say so myself....extremely unique.

Mouthfeel is nearly perfect, smooth and creamy with good body. Easy to drink and nice on a cold night. This is a great holiday brew and I recommend to anyone looking for something different!

 684 characters

Photo of sabitu
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of markmo
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of Aponte0317
3.4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of DaftPatrick
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

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Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.91 out of 5 based on 3,067 ratings.
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